Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar

This is not what I was expecting this novella to be – short and sweet, completely unique. Take a journey back to Castle Rock and meet Gwendy and her button box. Her story is both beautiful and tragic. I couldn’t help but feel for her throughout the entire tale. I don’t want to give away much of the story line, so I’ll just keep this review all about my feels.

This could pass for YA fantasy/mystery. So while I like that, many might not.

While this book is short, it’s brilliant. This is something completely different on the SK list for me. But I also haven’t read all of the King’s books, so I can’t say definitively if this is in fact true. Even though I feel it’s exponentially different, I was incredibly pleased. This wasn’t scary like many of Stephen King’s novels, but it has an ere of mystery and fear with the button box. So while it wasn’t what I was expecting, it was something different that brought a smile to my face and has stuck while writing this review.

This book kept me completely immersed from start to finish. Not once did I put it down (except to let the dog out). Stephen King has always had a fan in me, but now, Richard Chizmar does too.

Rating: 4 Buttons!

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34430839The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told… until now.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.

At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.

One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: “Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me.”

On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat…

Journey back to Castle Rock again in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, bestselling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award-winning author of A Long December. This book will be a Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive with no other editions currently planned anywhere in the world!

Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn

Stories about murder and darkness had a definite pull; they were alluring in how forbidden they were.
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Holy crazy balls. This book is insane. I never would have guessed that this is how the story would have played out, but it wasn’t a let down. In fact, throughout the book, I was creeped out by the power one man could have over others.

Lucas Graham, the out of work true-crime writer, is given an offer he can’t refuse. He needs to get back into the writing business to save his failing marriage, to save himself, consequences be damned.

Lucas arrives at the location as part of the deal made by Jeffery Halcomb – the notorious yet silent man who had been convicted of double murder and accused of the simultaneous multiple suicide sacrament in ’83.

The story goes back and forth between what happened in ’83 with Halcomb and his followers to what was happening at the location with Lucas. It was a smooth transition that kept me wanting more information. This was a mystery I wanted to solve, and as pieces slowly fell into place the further I dug into the story, the more horrified of the possible outcome I became.

She wept, and she told herself it was joy.

Ania Ahlborn knocked this story out of the park.

This book was gripping and kept my pages turning. As the end drew nearer and nearer, things grew more intense. The ending had me rocking back and forth with dread and paralyzing fear. An excellent read! I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an excellent mystery/horror book.

Rating: 4.5 stars!


Blurb:

From indie horror author and bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn, this brand-new supernatural thriller questions: how far would you go for success, and what would you be capable of if the promise of forever was real?

With his marriage on the rocks and his life in shambles, washed up crime writer Lucas Graham is desperate for a comeback. So when he’s promised exclusive access to notorious cult leader and death row inmate Jeffrey Halcomb, the opportunity is too good to pass up. Lucas leaves New York for the scene of the crime—a split-level farmhouse on the gray-sanded beach of Washington State—a house whose foundation is steeped in the blood of Halcomb’s diviners; runaways who, thirty years prior, were drawn to his message of family, unity, and unconditional love. Lucas wants to tell the real story of Halcomb’s faithful departed, but when Halcomb goes back on his promise of granting Lucas exclusive information on the case, he’s left to put the story together on his own. Except he is not alone. For Jeffrey Halcomb promised his devout eternal life…and within these walls, they’re far from dead.

The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn

51tjxzmou3l-_sx320_bo1204203200_I have not read something quite like this before. Sadly, I wasn’t so much as scared as creeped out. Maybe it’s because I’m such a fanatic of scary things that it’s difficult to scare me now. So don’t let it deter you just because I wasn’t feeling the fright!

Let me start out by saying, there are some slower parts of this book, but they are there for a reason.

For a moment, it felt as though Ania Ahlborn crept into one of my personal nightmares and brought it to life. Again, I wasn’t scared, but it creeped me out. I was shocked, to say the least.

This book doesn’t just give you all the creepy-crawly chills, it gives you all sorts of emotions for the main characters. Pity, love, sorrow. All I wanted to do was hug the ever living hell out of Stevie. For such a little boy, he’s gone through so much, and it just keeps coming at him.

And so many people give him the look. You know, the one that says, stop being such a loser and a freak…

The ending though. WOW. I’m blown away. That was the best part of the book by a long shot.

Throughout the entirety of this book, all I could hear was Jud Crandall from Pet Cemetery by Stephen King:

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Overall, this book was a breath of fresh air. I’ve been reading romance for a while and needed something that would crawl under my skin, work its way into my head, and hold on for some sleepless nights. This book did almost all of those things. It was still a good read!

Rating: 3.5 stars!


Blurb: 

An unforgettable horror novel from bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn—hailed as a writer of “some of the most promising horror I’ve encountered in years” (New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire)—in which a small-town boy investigates the mysterious disappearance of his cousin and uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden for years.

Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.

That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen…the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.

Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay

Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay – 3.5 stars


This book gave me the chills from the get-go. Elizabeth, Tommy’s mother, receives a call in the middle of the night from Tommy’s friends asking if he is home with her. She looks in his bedroom, but when she can’t find him and when his friends don’t know where he could be, panic sets in. She is frantic, running through the house trying desperately to find her son. Begging him by sheer force of will that he just walk through the door. The reality is sinking in. Her son has disappeared just like his father.

The devil is in the coincidences.

A boy, Tommy, at age 13 disappears suddenly when he and his friends run out into the middle of the night to a place known as Devil’s Rock. Tommy’s friends, Josh and Luis, seem honest and forthcoming, but this can’t be all the information.

Elizabeth believes she sees Tommy in her bedroom in the middle of the night. But he is different. Terrifying. Something is wrong with her son. But as quick as she sees him, he is gone. She doesn’t know what to think, but she is terrified. Her gut is telling her that she saw her dead son.

When random pages from what seems to be a diary written in Tommy’s scrawl appear in the living room, Elizabeth tastes a bit of hope that maybe her son is still alive. That maybe he is trying to tell them something. That’s when they stumble upon a character who befriended the boys that Josh and Luis (and Tommy, when he was still there) had failed to mention to anyone. Who is this older stranger and what role could he have played in Tommy’s disappearance?

Tremblay gives you chills by writing horrific scenes that leave you questioning the characters sanity and your own. While this book was not my favorite, it was still a great tale of what a parent, sister, and friend, must go through when they suffer from the sudden loss of a child, brother, friend. It will scare you and upset you. There were parts that left me teary-eyed, and I had to talk myself down to get through it. It’s an emotional ride.

This book was creepy and intriguing, but it didn’t scare me the way Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts did. The writing style also seemed quite different between the two books (one first person, past, the other third person, present). I just couldn’t get into it the way I wanted to. The way I did with A Head Full of Ghosts. It was a little disappointing, but the story is still there. It’s still great. You will still get plenty of chills.


Available now on Amazon!

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Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

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Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes – 5 horrifying stars


Hypnotic. Captivating. Intriguing.

I had to purchase this book after seeing that the KING (Stephen King) recommended it with a review of “Scary as hell and hypnotic. I couldn’t put it down….I’d grab it if I were you.”

Of course, he was right. This book starts out with a murder unlike any others Detective Versado has seen. Half boy. Half deer. Somehow held together as one. Where are the missing pieces to both? Why would someone create such a monstrosity? What’s worse? More bodies are discovered and much more disturbing.

The way Beukes wrote this is brilliant. Weaving through a web of people who are so different from each other. She brings to horrifying light the permanence of social media, the violence that lurks in others and inside ourselves, and the desire to be known or seen by the world. Social media is a powerful force now-a-days, and so many of us overlook the impact it can have on everyone.

It’s not the world that’s the stage – it’s social media, where you’re trying to put on a show. The rest of your life is rehearsals, prepping in the wings to be fabulous online.

You enjoy these characters in all their different mentalities. Gabi – Detective Versado, Sparkles, Layla – Versado’s daughter, Jonno, Clayton, TK, Ramon. These characters pull you in and entrance you.

This book was amazing, utterly terrifying and oddly intriguing. It left me utterly breathless. While I wanted to keep reading and digging and getting answers, I also had to put the book down – much like when I read books by Stephen King. They get under your skin and fester. And God, this book had my skin twitching with unease.

Intense. Nerve-wracking. Horrific.

This is the way the world is now. Everything is public.
You have to find other people who understand.

I was baffled and amazed and so enraptured with this story. I don’t want to spoil anything about this book, so I’m going to stop my ramblings right here. An excellent read! Definitely not one you should pass up!


Available now on Amazon!

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